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The American Language and Culture Program

The American Language and Culture Program (ALCP) serves international students from many different backgrounds who need to develop their English language skills in order to successfully pursue academic studies at the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM). The ALCP is not a stand-alone intensive English language program, and an I-20 cannot be issued for intensive English language (ESL) instruction. International students must be admitted to a degree program. Then, if supplemental instruction in the English language is needed alone or with academic coursework, ALCP coursework can be offered. Again, international students must apply to and be admitted to a degree program to receive an I-20 from UDM.

The ALCP provides English-proficiency testing and placement services to newly-arrived UDM nonimmigrant students and offers a structured program of classes in English as a Second Language (ESL) to those who lack sufficient proficiency. For almost all Degree Programs, we do not require that you demonstrate English proficiency to be admitted. However, undergraduate students applying to a Program in the College of Engineering and Science must submit scores at the time of admission. Admissability will be assessed based on academic grades and TOEFL or IELTS scores submitted.

English Proficiency Testing and Placement

The ACT Compass® ESL test, which UDM uses in place of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), will be administered to first time and transfer students. It is a computerized test that students will take at the McNichols campus of UDM. Based on test results, students will be assigned accordingly.

All nonimmigrants in F-1 (student) status (or a dependent status such as H-4 or L-2) must take the ACT Compass® ESL test unless they meet one of the following conditions:

  1. They come from a country where English is the primary language (e.g., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, etc.) and the language of higher education.
  2. They have completed an undergraduate degree or a graduate degree at a college or university in the U.S. or in another country where English is the primary language and the language of higher education.
  3. They have a TOEFL iBT total score of at least 80 and at least a 21 in the writing section; or a TOEFL PBT total score of at least 550 and at least a 5 in the writing section. Test scores cannot be more than 2 years old!
  4. They have an IELTS minimum score of 6.5. Test scores cannot be more than 2 years old!

The ACT Compass® ESL test is composed of four sections: grammar, reading, listening and writing. Questions in the grammar, reading and listening sections are multiple choice. The writing section requires the student to respond in writing to a question or topic. The entire test takes approximately 3 hours to complete. Download sample test questions online:

1)      Grammar          http://www.act.org/compass/tests/esl/grammar1.html 

2)      Reading            http://www.act.org/compass/tests/esl/reading1.html 

3)      Listening           http://www.act.org/compass/tests/esl/listening1.html 

If students do not pass the ACT Compass® ESL test (allowing for full academic study), the following illustrate placement based on test results:

ALCP 1010/5101 Intensive English (22 hours per week) is a lower level comprehensive English program that includes writing, reading, speaking and listening. Students who are placed in ALCP 1010/5101 can register only for English classes. Registration in ALCP 1010/5101 constitutes full-time enrollment. At the end of ALCP 1010/5101, if you are in good academic standing (as designated by ALCP faculty), you will be retested using the ACT Compass® ESL test and placed accordingly. These courses are offered only on the McNichols Campus.

ALCP 2010/5201 Intermediate English (9 hours per week) is an intermediate-level course which emphasizes writing, reading and listening. Students who are placed in ALCP 2010/5201 are required to register for both English classes and academic courses in order to meet the full-time enrollment requirement. Graduate students must register for at least 3 academic credits and undergraduates for 6 academic credits in addition to their English course. At the end of ALCP 2010/5201, if you are in good academic standing (as designated by ALCP faculty), you will be retested using the ACT Compass® ESL test and placed accordingly.

ALCP 3150/5315 Academic Writing and Culture (3 hours per week) teaches academic writing skills. Students who are placed in ALCP 3150/5315 must also register for academic credits in order to meet the full-time enrollment requirement. Graduates need at least 6 academic credits, undergraduates need 9 academic credits in addition to their English course. Students who receive a final grade below C- in ALCP 3150/5315 must repeat the course.

Students exiting the program are deemed to be sufficiently proficient in English to successfully engage in a program of academic study at the undergraduate or graduate level.

CREDITS

Students taking ALCP 1010/5101 receive no credit. Students receive a letter grade on their transcripts. No points for the grade are factored into the grade point averages.

Undergraduate students receive 4 credits for ALCP 2010 or 3150. These 4 credits are not counted toward graduation requirements.  Students receive a letter grade on their transcripts. Points for the grade are factored into the grade point averages of undergraduate students.

Undergraduate Post-Degree students receive 0 credits for ALCP 2010 or 3150. Students receive a letter grade on their transcripts. No points for the grade are factored into the grade point averages of undergraduate post-degree students.

Graduate students receive 0 credits for ALCP 5201 or 5315. Students receive a letter grade on their transcripts. No points for the grade are factored into the grade point averages of graduate students.

NOTE: If you are required to take supportive ESL coursework at UDM (referred to as ALCP), you may have to defer starting your academic degree Program by a semester or longer until you attain a satisfactory level of English proficiency to enroll in academic coursework. Prices for ESL/ALCP coursework may be ascertained here.